Canelo Alvarez reminded Matchroom Boxing promoter Eddie Hearn after his victory over Billy Joe Saunders that he’d told it would be “easy money” before the contest.
Although Canelo (56-1-2, 38 KOs) stopped former WBO super middleweight champion Saunders (30-1, 14 KOs) in the eighth round after injuring his right eye from an uppercut, the fight was hardly an “easy money” fight.
You can argue that if Saunders hadn’t started running out of gas after the sixth round, he might have outboxed Canelo and won a decision.
Of course, with the way the judges were scoring the fight, Saunders probably wouldn’t have gotten the decision, but he would have raised doubts.
“With all my respect, I told you. 𝗘𝗮𝘀𝘆 𝗠𝗼𝗻𝗲𝘆,” said Canelo I the dressing room in his conversation with Hearn.
If Canelo wanted a fight that was NOT ‘Easy Money,” then perhaps he shouldn’t have hand-picked Saunders as his opponent.
As most boxing fans already know, Saunders is a finesse fighter with very, very little power and who had already shown flaws with his stamina since 2014.
While it’s true that Saunders captured two-division world titles, he did it by beating less than the best. Saunders’ two world titles were won against Andy Lee and Shefat Isufi.
Lee is now retired, but his talent level or lack thereof was exposed in his knockout loss to Julio Cesar Chavez Jr.
So basically, Saunders was a flawed fighter, who captured two division titles against marginal fighters, and that takes a lot of the shine from Canelo’s victory over him.
The casuals obviously have no clue how limited Saunders was a fighter. Still, the hardcore boxing fans understood that he was a weak belt-holder and guaranteed slam dunk wins for Canelo.
If Canelo doesn’t want “easy money” fights, he needs to start fighting the quality opposition, which he hasn’t been doing since his close call against Gennady Golovkin in 2018.
Non ‘Easy money’ fights for Canelo:
- David Benavidez
- Jermall Charlo
- Demetrius Andrade
- Artur Beterbiev
- Dimitry Bivol
- Carlos Gongora
- Gennadiy Golovkin
Who knows why Can’t hasn’t been fighting any of those guys? Is it by accident that Canelo hasn’t fought them, or is he purposefully been avoiding them?
Canelo’s next fight will likely be against IBF super middleweight champion Caleb Plant in September. If the Canelo-Plant fight can be successfully negotiated, it’ll be another Saunder-esque opponent, as Plant is the same type of fighter but slightly less talented.
Similar to Saunders, Plant can’t punch and has massive stamina problems that surface after six rounds. In other words, Plant is a six-round fighter at best, which is perfect for Canelo to pick up another “easy money” fight that proves nothing.
Canelo dominated Saunders
“It was a solid performance from Canelo Alvarez,” said commentator Bernard Osuna said to Little Giant Boxing. “He answered the question that everyone had; ‘How much has he improved since the Floyd Mayweather and Erislandy Lara fight,’ because those are the guys that gave him trouble, those mobile fighters.
“He never allowed Billy Joe Saunders to get on his bike and start moving. He went at him with a very controlled pace, but in round five, he [Canelo] got a little bit anxious and Eddy [Reynoso] was able to settle him down.
“When it came to the stoppage, it was a beautiful uppercut. Immediately when he connected [on Saunders], I saw his eye blow up, and then he landed a body shot.
“The demeanor of Billy Joe Saunders, he was done at that point. When he [Saunders] went back to his corner, I thought he’d give himself a chance to come out.
“Between the pain and his orbital bone, I don’t think he wanted to become a highlight-reel knockout, which is what it would have happened to him if he’d come out for round nine with a closed eye,” said Osuna about Saunders choosing to quit rather than come out for the ninth.
Osuna has got it wrong. Canelo did NOT dominate Saunders. Really, if you want to be honest about it, Saunders gave Canelo massive problems in rounds 4, 5, and 6, which he fought well enough to win.
Going into the 8th round, Canelo was ahead 4 rounds to 3 in the eyes of many boxing fans.
You have to fight perfectly to beat Canelo
“He’s 30-years-old, he’s 15 years in the game, and he’s still getting better, he’s still improving, he’s still learning and he’s got a great corner, Eddy Reynoso,” Osuna said about Canelo.
“They have a great relationship with one another. It’s like a brotherhood. They trust implicitly in one another, and Eddy knows what buttons to press with Canelo.
“I think that combination is impressive. I think Julia Cesar Chavez is right. He’s in his prime, and he still has another five years to go.
“The sky’s the limit, but you do have to have the perfect fight against Canelo to beat this version of Canelo because of the improvements, because of the evolution we’ve seen over the years.
“I was one of those guys who didn’t have him pound-for-pound until two or three fights ago. I had him top three, but I just think his last run of fights without the Yildirim fight, that doesn’t even count.
“When you go back to the two GGG fights, those were the hardest 24 rounds of his career.
“Then you have Daniel Jacobs, and that means he took on two of the best at 160 pounds.
“Then he moves up [to light heavyweight] and knocks out [Sergey] Kovalev, and then he comes back down and takes two belts from Callum Smith.
“We all expected a lot more from him, and then he does this to Billy Joe Saunders,” Osuna said of Canelo’s win.
To win a decision, you have to be perfect against Canelo. Read: you got to dominate him to have a chance of getting a decision against the popular Mexican star.
That’s why it’s going to take someone like Beterbiev, Benavidez, or Congora to beat Canelo because they’ll likely need to knock him out to win. Golovkin could likely beat Canelo if he had a better engine and more willing to take shots to wear him down.
To beat Canelo, you have to be willing to be embarrassed with him landing many eye-catching shots that get the crowd into it.
If you’re one of the top fighters from my list, it’s possible to bet Canelo if you stay focused, ignore the pro-Canelo crowd noise, and throw non-stop punches to wear him down.
You’re not going to get a decision by trying to outbox Canelo. You’ve to beat him by staying in the trenches and throwing 80 to 100 punches per round, which Canelo is incapable of doing due to his poor engine.
Look at how exhausted Canelo was against Saunders last Saturday. Canelo was greatly fatigued at throwing a little over 20 punches per round. Imagine Canelo fighting someone that averages over 80 punches per round. He wouldn’t be able to handle that.
Caleb Plant to be tested
“I can’t wait to see what happens with Caleb Plant,” said Osuna about Canelo’s potentially next opponent. “I think it’s a good fight because Caleb Plant has a very good style, he’s got really good skills, but he hasn’t been tested.
“The same questions we have Billy Joe Saunders. When he [Plant] steps foot inside an arena that now has 70,000.
“It happened with Manny Pacquiao, and it happened with Floyd Mayweather. All of a sudden when you step into the big scene, and you’re the B-side and the other guy has everything going for him, it’s hard to overcome.
“Legitimate champions have told me that. ‘I thought I was ready, but stepping in with Pacquiao, stepping in with Floyd, stepping in with Canelo, it’s a whole different ball game.’
“Some guys aren’t at that level, We’ll see if Caleb Plant is at that level because he’s got the skill set to make it a great fight against Canelo Alvarez, to answer some questions of Canelo.
“I just think when you look at the strength physically and mentally of Canelo Alvarez, the discipline inside and outside of the ring, I just think it makes for a fighting machine right now,” said Osuna.
Plant will be tested and bested by Canelo, and it’ll be a repeat of the Saunders clash. The difference, I think, will be that Plant won’t be dumb enough to lean forward the way that Saunders was doing the entire fight.
So if Canelo is going to hurt Plant with one of his uppercuts, he’ll need to land it with him standing straight up. That’ll take some o the power off Canelo’s shots, but it won’t matter. He’ll still likely easily beat the light-hitting Plant.